Welcome to Heavenly Socks Yarns!

The Heavenly Socks Yarns storefront

Our shop on Lower Main Street

Curious alpacas at Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm

Curious alpacas at Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm

September Is Fiber Month in Maine

As we said a year ago, we have long thought that we would love to see Belfast as the fiber capital of Maine. As we put together our newsletter this month, we again can see that if we look at the fiber offerings in Waldo County (within a twenty-mile radius of Belfast), we think we may have reached, or at least we are closer to, that vision. Here are some events that are taking place this month:

This month fiber lovers can enjoy the Fiber College of Maine. It is a five-day event -- though you can come to any part of it -- beginning Wednesday, September 9 at Searsport Shores Ocean Campground. There is so much information about this event that you simply must click on the link.

On Friday, September 25 through Sunday, September 27, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) has their annual Common Ground Country Fair in Unity. It is full of fiber! While at the fair, you can go across the street and visit the alpacas at Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm. They have a store full of alpaca products, including their own yarn. Some products are imported, but some are made from their fiber.

Then we have two yarn companies. Good Karma Yarn Company, right here in Belfast, actually makes yarn from the fiber of its own animals. It is a welcoming place for visitors to see animals and to see how yarn is made and dyed. There is also Swans Island Yarn in Northport, which hand-dyes yarn with natural dyes.

Purple Fleece in Stockton Springs is a great supplier of weaving and spinning supplies. There is WORKS in Searsport (find them on Facebook) that has lots of fiber books, hand-spun yarns and spinning supplies. Marion Brown has a rug-hooking studio in the Belfast Center with flexible hours. She offers supplies and instruction and can be reached at 207-522-5348. There is Nancy's Sewing Center on Route 3 in Belfast and Fiddlehead Artisan Supply right here in downtown Belfast. Although Fiddlehead Artisan Supply is predominantly fabric, it has an incredible range of fiber, including fancy papers.

Enjoy! And by the way, we are open Labor Day from 11 am-4 pm.

A selection of colorful buttons, on sale through September

A selection of colorful buttons, on sale through September

Buttons on Sale at 20% Off

This month all buttons will be on sale at 20% off. There will also be a crate of "red tagged" tubes that will be at 30% off. This is a great time to stock up and decide whether it is time to knit a sweater based on the buttons!

We have some hats for sale knitted by Jo Cooley of Jackson.

We have some hats for sale knitted by Jo Cooley of Jackson.

Knit a Hat!

Our staff noticed that we have retired many of our shop's hat samples and thought we should focus on making some hats in the next few months. We hope to be having some new hats to inspire you soon.

For a new knitter, hats are a great first project. They are relatively easy with some simple skills required, such as knit 2 together and using double-pointed needles for a few rounds. From a basic hat pattern, the knitter can create with color and texture -- either with textured yarn or stitch patterns.

There have been a few poems and speeches in the past about doing the simple things in life that may be calming and resourceful. Knitting has been mentioned in a few. At the moment we could only find this poem, "Wage Peace" by Judyth Hill, that speaks about knitting. It was written as the tragedy of 9/11 was still unfolding.

Bojangles Hat from Morehouse Farms

We spent some time on the Web site of Morehouse Farms after reading an e-mail that said that their future was uncertain due to health issues. We wish them the best. We saw the Bojangles Hat pattern and thought how great the hats looked using scraps of yarn!

Barley Hat and classic mittens, modeled by Marie-Hélène, from the Gaspé Peninsula

Barley Hat and classic mittens, modeled by Marie-Hélène, from the Gaspé Peninsula

Our New Sample of the Barley Hat

Barley is an old favorite reworked in a different yarn. We love the simplicity of this free hat pattern, which is available in sizes to fit baby through adult large. Make it slightly slouchy, like this one, or more like a cap; either way it's a flattering cold-season accessory for your noggin.

We used one skein of Malabrigo Rios for our Adult Medium, with enough left over to stripe with a solid yarn for a pair of women's mittens. Liz knit the cuffs in Berroco Vintage, then alternated two rows of Vintage with two rows of Rios using the Classic Mittens No. 615 pattern. One hand is all knit, while the other is three rows knit, one row purl. Don't be afraid to mix it up!

Muckle Toque, modeled by Mariève, from the Gaspé Peninsula

Muckle Toque, modeled by Mariève, from the Gaspé Peninsula

The Muckle Toque

Building on the popularity of the Muckle Mitts, Mary Jane Mucklestone also designed the Muckle Toque, a slouchy hat with a deep rib and a simple colorwork band. You can even add a pom-pom for extra pizzazz.

This is a great colorwork project to tackle in these waning days of summer, when you're looking for a portable project. The extra-long 1x1 ribbing is mindless and doesn't require much thought. Just about when you're likely to get bored, a relatively simple colorwork section comes along. Before you know it, you'll have a new hat to pull on or give away when the air turns brisk this fall.

The pattern calls for DK- or worsted-weight yarn, and Liz used three colors of Kenzie, a fabulous blend of merino, nylon, angora, alpaca and silk noils of which we have twenty shades. Two skeins of the main color are needed, and one each of two contrasting colors. The pattern is available through in-shop Ravelry pattern sales for $5.00. A 160-yard skein retails for $8.95.

Perhaps, Perhaps Shawl, modeled for us by Sue in front of our shop

Perhaps, Perhaps Shawl, modeled for us by Sue in front of our shop

Perhaps, Perhaps Shawl

This shawl is sooo soft. If you want to avoid wool or are in the mood for that nice transition between summer and winter, Seta Tweed raw silk by Lang Yarns might be the answer. This DK yarn has 110 yards per skein and sells for $9.95.

This yarn is nice in your hand and makes a really comfortable piece to wrap around your shoulders or neck. What may be most enjoyable about this pattern is the chance to use three colors of yarn! Changing from garter striping to lace and back again kept things interesting and moving along. The pattern takes four skeins, a single ball of each color for the striped sections and two balls of another color for the lace sections. We carry nine colors for you to choose from!

Wake Shawl, knit by Helen in String Theory's Caper Sock

Wake Shawl, knit by Helen in String Theory's Caper Sock

Wake Shawl

For years, we have heard many customers claiming that String Theory's Caper Sock was their favorite yarn. After all these years, Helen finally tried it and has now concurred with them -- it's absolutely wonderful to knit with!

Helen was intrigued by the Wake Shawl pattern and so she started, using the colorway Black Purl. She used a #5 needle instead of a #6 (which the pattern called for), which made the finished project a little smaller. However, there was 25 grams (out of the 100-gram skein) left, which can be used for another repeat.

She also added size 6 beads to the last few rows of the shawl to add some weight. If you don't already know, we sell seed beads. We also just received a new shipment of Madeline Tosh Light -- which was the original pattern yarn.

Wandering the Vendor's Boulevard at Fiber College of Maine

Wandering the Vendor's Boulevard at Fiber College of Maine

Fiber College of Maine

There will be lots of classes, demonstrations, vendors and drop-in opportunities at Fiber College of Maine on September 9-13 at Searsport Shores Oceanfront Campground in Searsport, Maine.

It's not too late to sign up for a great class and head to Searsport for a fabulous fiber weekend. There are still a few lodging options available too; check at Fiber College.

The Friday Fiber Fiesta on September 11 is free and open to the public from 5-8 pm. Tiki torches light the way to fiber fun with vendors, food and music.

Here are some of the knit and crochet classes:

Knitting the Masters with Katharine Cobey

Knitters are almost magicians. They can make fabric and shape it, and incorporate surface design -- all at the same time.

This two-day class is a special opportunity for beginners, intermediate and advanced students to explore and expand their knitting skills with Maine's Master Craft Artist and sculptor Katharine Cobey.

Using Katharine's design of a Forage Bag as an example, we will discuss the basic structure of the knitted stitch and how even the simplest techniques relate to sculpting and significance.

Wristers or Mitten Cuffs from the Estonian Island of Kihnu with Mary Germain

Learn how to knit a special wrister or mitten cuff based on traditional designs from the Estonian island of Kihnu in the Baltic Sea.

Mary will share with you some of the techniques she learned while on a knitting trip to Estonia, including a special cast-on, various braids, textures and two-color work.

Nupps and Estonian Lace with Mary Germain

Learn a couple of alternative methods for creating nupps (rhymes with soups), an Estonian bobble-type texture used in Estonian lace knitting.

Also learn about the Estonian way of casting on and binding off lace, and knit some sample lace-stitch patterns.

Amigurumi with Amy Lou Stein

Learn basic amigurumi skills and techniques to crochet dolls, animals or objects to delight your family and friends. Increasing, decreasing, simple pattern reading and seaming will all be part of the lesson.

With these skills you will be able to work almost any amigurumi pattern on your own ... and have you seen how cute these can be?

Broomstick Lace with Mary Lou Egan

Broomstick Lace gets its name from 19th-century needleworkers who used a broom handle to make the lace. Using a broom handle isn't necessary -- a large knitting needle or length of dowel work as well.

You don't crochet? You will now. This small project is a perfect way to dip your toe in. Crocheted broomstick lace is fun and easy. In class you will make a cowl. (Pattern included.)

You can show off some beautiful vintage buttons, too. Make them with Connie from Fryeburg Pottery (she'll have everything set up in her vendor booth all weekend long) or find some already made from another Fiber College vendor.

Fried Chicken Mittens with Ellen Mason

If your thumb looks like a piece of fried chicken, you should wear a mitten with a fully shaped thumb. The Fried Chicken Mitten hugs the thumb's curves and moves without stressing the rest of the mitten.

Come learn the shaping and several techniques for knitting these well-fitted mittens, including a discussion of working two at a time.

Jillian Liversidge models her superhero outfit

Jillian Liversidge models her superhero outfit

Sixth Annual KnitMaine-ia Fashion Show Seeks Submissions

Are you a knitter? Crocheter? Afghan maker? KnitMaine-ia needs your work. Celebrating the rich tradition of fiber art in the local Maine community, this is an opportunity for all levels to showcase their talent. Pieces are collected and thoughtfully cared for, then displayed or modeled on the day of the event. Many afghans are needed to adorn the walls of the boathouse, and all clothing and accessories are welcome. The theme for 2015 is rainbows, though this is not a requirement for submissions.

Not interested in submitting your creations? Come and enjoy the parade of color, the generous door prizes and the camaraderie of other fiber enthusiasts. The event takes place on October 3 at 2 pm at the Belfast Boathouse, and tickets are $12.00. As in the past, 100% of profits will be donated to New Hope for Women, a local domestic violence organization. Submission deadline is September 15, 2105. For more information and submission forms, visit Knit the Community or find them on Facebook. (Not tech savvy? Call Sara at 978-325-0045.)

The Gnome Project: One Woman's Wild and Woolly Adventure, by Jessica Peill-Meininghaus

The Gnome Project: One Woman's Wild and Woolly Adventure, by Jessica Peill-Meininghaus

The Gnome Project: One Woman's Wild and Woolly Adventure

On Thursday September 10, 6:30 pm, at the Belfast Free Library, artist and crafter Jessica Peill-Meininghaus will discuss how she came to create the Gnome Project and then write about the journey in her book.

Several years ago Peill-Meininghaus decided that she needed a project to teach herself follow-through in life. She settled on making one of her popular felted-wool gnomes every day for a year. With pipe cleaners and wool roving, amidst the chaos of raising four children and moving cross-country, Peill-Meininghaus felted her way through hundreds of charming, pointy-hatted, often bearded characters. Her book "The Gnome Project: One Woman's Wild and Woolly Adventure" chronicles her humorous and challenging journey through the ins and outs of creating a daily practice amidst a life with children, animals and a move across country.

For more information about Belfast Free Library events, click Library Programs.

This month's caller, Sarah VanNorstrand

This month's caller, Sarah VanNorstrand

Who's Been Rocking at My Dance? Great Bear Trio to Play at Belfast Flying Shoes

On Friday, September 4, join Belfast Flying Shoes for an evening of contra dancing at American Legion Post #43, 143 Church St. in Belfast. The evening begins at 6:30 pm with a community dance called by Chrissy Fowler. The contra dance begins at 8 pm and runs till around 11 pm.

This month's caller is Sarah VanNorstrand. An avid contra dancer since her teens, Sarah co-founded a contra prom at her high school in upstate New York. Since her debut as a caller in 2006, she has built a nationwide following with a style that combines clarity, enthusiasm and an infectious sense of fun.

Sharing the Flying Shoes stage with Sarah will be the Great Bear Trio, a popular and innovative band at the leading edge of contemporary contra dance music. With a firm command of the traditional contra dance idiom, this mom-and-sons ensemble weaves in strands of rock, trance and world music. The result is a compelling, groove-oriented soundscape that lights up musical taste buds while melding a roomful of humans into a single kinetic experience. Andrew VanNorstrand, guitar; Noah VanNorstrand, fiddle; and Kim Yerton, piano. Sound provided by Edward Howe.

For more information, phone 207-338-0979, e-mail belfastflyingshoes@gmail.com, visit Belfast Flying Shoes or find them on Facebook.

Nature Walk at Head of Tide Preserve

Interested in learning about birds, trees, flowers, insects, animal tracks and other areas of natural history? Coastal Mountains Land Trust and the Camden Conservation Commission have teamed up to co-sponsor monthly natural history walks in the Camden area. September's walk will take place on September 5 at the Head of Tide Preserve in Belfast from 10 am to noon.

Dana Michaud and David Borque, members of the Maine Entomological Society, will be joining the walk to show us how to find and identify insects that we see.

Waldo County Firefighters Association logo

Waldo County Firefighters Association logo

Waldo County Firefighters Convention and Parade

The Waldo County Firefighters Association is hosting the 52nd Maine State Federation of Firefighters Annual Convention on September 11-13. This event will bring firefighters and their family and friends from all over the state to the midcoast area.

The Waldo County Firefighters Parade will take place on Saturday, September 12. The parade will begin promptly at 10 am at the Belfast High School and end at Belfast City Park.

Come out and support your hometown heroes, and enjoy the parade. For more information, visit Waldo County Firefighters Association.

The Servant of Two Masters (Midcoast Actors Studio)

The Midcoast Actors Studio presents The Servant of Two Masters, which runs September 11-27 at the Troy Howard Stage in Belfast. MAS closes their 2015 season with Good People in November. The 2016 season will include A Lie of the Mind by Sam Shepard (Pulitzer prize winner), Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker (Pulitzer winner), Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw, and 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog (Pulitzer finalist).

Maine Wienerfest banner

Maine Wienerfest banner

Maine Wienerfest 2015

The Maine Wienerfest 2015 will take place on Sunday, September 13, 11 am-3 pm, at Steamboat Landing Park. $2.00 admission, rain or shine. Grand parade, costume contest, races and tricks. Vendors will offer hot dogs and ice cream. There will be a raffle.

Senior College at Belfast Fall Courses

Fall courses are ready at Senior College at Belfast, University of Maine Hutchinson Center, 80 Belmont Ave., Belfast. Course descriptions are now listed online and registration is open. Regular fall classes begin Thursday, September 17, and end Thursday, October 22; in addition, there will be two one-day classes, and a Saturday Opera Series.

For more information, visit Senior College at Belfast. e-mail info@belfastseniorcollege.org or phone 207-338-8033.

Buttons are fun! (Maine State Button Society photo)

Buttons are fun! (Maine State Button Society photo)

Maine State Button Society Annual Fall Show

On Saturday, September 19, from 9 am to 2 pm, the Maine State Button Society will hold its Annual Fall Show at the Belfast United Methodist Church at 23 Mill Lane, Belfast. Theme: Buttons are fun! Dealer tables are available for $10.00.

For more information, phone 207-338-5575 or 207-338-0123.

The Gothic Restaurant

The Gothic Restaurant

Artist Gathering at the Gothic

The Gothic Restaurant and the Belfast Creative Coalition invite you to an artist gathering September 21 at 7 pm. Artists, cultural leaders and creative entrepreneurs are invited for an evening of networking plus fine food and wine sampling. Tickets are $25.00 per person and includes a glass of wine and two canapés. RSVP by September 18. Limited seating available. Full bar and limited menu available. The Gothic is located at 108 Main St. in Belfast. For reservations, phone 207-338-4684.

The Gothic strives to provide the highest-quality seasonal ingredients, sourcing produce from local farms and using organic, local and foraged ingredients when available, and supports wine makers who produce biodynamic, organic and/or sustainable wines.

The Belfast Creative Coalition (BCC) is a non-profit dedicated to cultivating arts and culture for the Belfast area through coordination and promotion. BCC's online arts and cultural event listings and directories can be found at the Belfast Creative Coalition.

Waldo County Pie and Story Festival poster

Waldo County Pie and Story Festival poster

Save the Date: Waldo County Pie and Story Festival in October

The 2015 Waldo County Pie and Story Festival will come back to the Belfast Boathouse, at Steamboat Landing Park in Belfast, on Sunday, October 4, from 1 to 4 pm. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, phone 207-322-2265, or find them on Facebook.

Cover painting for the Kim Jacobs 2016 Cobblestone Way Calendar, by Kim Jacobs

Cover painting for the Kim Jacobs 2016 Cobblestone Way Calendar, by Kim Jacobs

Belfast Co-op September Events

Featured Artist

An Illustrator's Art: exhibit of delicately painted and detailed watercolors into enchanted places by Brooks artist Kim Jacobs. On display in the Co-op Cafe through late September.

Round Up for Community Recipients

September 1-15: Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition;
September 16-30: Belfast Poetry Festival.

Senior Discount Day

Every Tuesday, Belfast Co-op customers 62 years young and up receive a discount upon informing the cashier of their eligibility. Co-op member-owners receive a 10% discount; non-member-owners 5%.

Quarterly Member-Owner Super Sale Week

September 1-7: Belfast Co-op member-owners receive 10% off one transaction. Fermentation Fundamentals with Chef Frank Giglio.

Fermented Foods with Frank Giglio of Three Lily Farm

Thursday, September 3, 6-8 pm, Belfast Free Library, 106 High St., Belfast: Free presentation with Chef Frank Giglio of Three Lily Farm in Thorndike about adding fermented foods to your diet.

Wild Mushrooms: Foraging for Maine's Best Functional Food with Greg Marley

Tuesday. September 8, 6:30-8 pm, Belfast Free Library, 106 High St., Belfast: Free presentation with Maine mycologist and author Greg Marley about the best edible and medicinal mushrooms in the fall woods of Maine. Co-sponsored with the Library.

Monthly Love LOCAL Day

Friday, September 25: Suecakes (Belfast) dairy-, egg- and gluten-free baked-good samples, lunch special highlighting local ingredients, 10% off ALL Maine-made products all day.

Wine Tasting and Art Opening

Friday, September 25, 7-8 pm, Belfast Co-op Cafe, 123 High St.: Free monthly sampling of highlighted seasonal wines and art show opening. Featured wines are 10% off during the tasting.

For more information about Belfast Co-op events, please visit Belfast Co-op.

Troy, midcoast Maine's friendly UPS man

Troy, midcoast Maine's friendly UPS man

Our Shipping Policy

Even though our Web site is not designed with a shopping cart, we will happily ship anything to you.

At this time, we only ask for the exact cost of the shipping; there is no handling charge.

By the way, the man in the photo is our well-loved UPS deliveryman. He is always smiling and happy, even when hauling heavy boxes down the stairs. (He must be a secret wannabe knitter.)

Yarn customers browsing inside our shop

Inside our shop, with yarn lovers examining a tempting skein.